Andrzej Popielewicz Phd

Applied Informatics Division
Institute of Physics UAM

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Solaris 9 x86

  1. Internet via Serial Modem

  2. DHCP "unknown" hostname problem

  3. Xig server


Tom's AVR assembler for Solaris 8 (x86)

Bash 2.x for NetBSD 1.6

MC 4.x for NetBSD 1.6

cfdisk 0.8.g for Coherent 4.2.10

Our port of cfdisk 0.8.g with the help of gcc 2.8.1

  • Download

  • tested with SCSI and IDE HDD, please read README carefully.

  • Package contains cfdisk, and patches for SCSI HDD haisd driver and IDE at driver.

c-kermit 8.0.209 for Coherent 4.2.10

Our port of c-kermit 8.0.209 with the help of gcc 2.8.1

efax for Coherent 4.2.10

Our  port of efax

  • Download

  • tested with external Zoom faxModem C.34X as sender and standard fax device(not a modem) as receiver , but efax enables also receiving of faxes on Your faxModem

  • no modem configuration is required, copy the binaries and scripts to /bin

  • fax script contains configuration parameters ( defaults to /dev/com2l), it means if Your modem is plugged into com2, it will work out of the box

using :

  • convert txt file before sending : efix -i text -o fax message.txt.001 > message.fax.001

  • sending to phone 8670933 : fax send 8670933 message.fax.001 

  • Notice the name conventions !!!

Tom's AVR Macro assembler for Coherent 4.2.10

Our port of Tom's tavrasm , which allows for compiling assembler programs for ATMEL AVR 8 bit microcontrollers

Perl 5.005_003 for Coherent 4.2.10

Our port of powerful and very popular text manipulation and reporting language. Rather well tested.

Steven's monitor for Coherent 4.2.10

Our port of Steven(PItronics, not Pitronics) avrmon , which allows for monitoring of programms running in AVR 8 bit microcontroller , installed on STK200 or SP12 evaluation board.

UISP AVR programmer for Coherent 4.2.10

Our port of Uros ISP programmer uisp , which allows for uploading of programms into AVR 8 bit microcontroller , installed on most known evaluation boards.

PDP-11 emulator for Coherent 4.2.10

Our port of pdp-11 emulator written by Warren

SIMH emulator

Our port of Bob famous emulator , which allows to boot ORIGINAL boot images of many pdp11(and other) unix

Rescue floppy for Coherent 4.2.10

How to start ?
After booting from floppy  You will be prompted to give the kernel name. Enter


Rescue floppy for Coherent serves two purposes :

  • Your system has crashed and You want to run fsck from the floppy

/etc/fsck /dev/at0a
/etc/mount /dev/at0a /mnt
cp anyprogram /mnt
/etc/umount /dev/at0a

  • You installed Coherent and Your system does not boot properly, in this case it is enough to copy tboot and cohat kernel to the IDE harddrive. Rescue floppy contains also other system programs You could wish to copy.

/etc/mount /dev/at0a /mnt
cp tboot /mnt
cp cohat0 /mnt
cp cfdisk /mnt/bin
/etc/umount /dev/at0a

or if You want to create Coherent filesystem. You can check the number of blocks using cfdisk or fdisk

cfdisk {-c n} {-h m} {-s o} {/dev/at0x| /dev/at1x}
mkfs /dev/at0a numberofblocks
/etc/mount /dev/at0a /mnt
cp programx /mnt
/etc/umount /dev/at0a

  • Rescue floppy contains both MWC fdisk and our ported cfdisk

  • If Your harddrive has Coherent installed, You can boot rescue floppy entering “cohat0” instead of “cohat”.It will boot kernel from harddrive.In this case it works like boot floppy for Linux.For example You have not succeded to copy Coherent masterboot during installation. You can do it now using Coherent fdisk. If You are afraid that fdisk has changed partition table run cfdisk afterwards.

  • Download dd image

  1. You should use dd on running Coherent system or on Linux to create the floppy from the file.

  2. Coherent : dd if=crescue.dd of=/dev/fva0

  3. Linux : dd if=crescue.dd of=/dev/fd0

Adaptec SCSI support

If You want to mount also SCSI harddrive, You have to copy the kernel cohats5 from the second version of the rescue floppy

/etc/mount /dev/at0a /mnt
cp tboot /mnt
cp cohats5 /mnt
cp cohats5.sym /mnt
/etc/umount /dev/at0a

This kernel was tested in mixed IDE/SCSI system , one with 50 MHZ Cyrix 486 PC and another with 300 MHZ K6, in one case Adaptec AHA1542C was used and in another 1542CF.
The parameters of the adapter : address 0x330, interrupt 11, DMA 5.
Set interrupt 11 and DMA 5 to legacy ISA in Your BIOS(these settings depend on BIOS).
Both systems were booted from small(~500MB)  IDE drive.
SCSI ID=0 for HDD, ID=2 for tape were configured.
This kernel has also builtin Ne2000 Ethernet driver, with address 0x240 and interrupt=12, so if You want to use it then change Your card eeprom with usually accompanying setup floppy(in DOS).   

Motherboards tested

  • FIC VA-503 300 MHZ K6

  • FIC PT-2200 166 MHZ Pentium

  • Soyo 027A2 66 MHZ 486 DX cyrix



Three first boards from above list allow for booting from IDE. For two last only booting from floppy was tested.Generally BIOS should allow for setting drive type to NORMAL(as opposite to LBA or LARGE etc) if You want to boot Coherent from IDE.

Year 2000 patch date.gz ATclock.gz


Coherent boot floppy for Duron

It is possible to generate the 4.2.10 kernel , which boots on Duron system.
The kernel is "thinner" that standard kernels(for example we use kb keyboard driver).It can boot from floppy, but it is not pure floppy kernel, it contains IDE at driver. It means You could in principle mount smaller (than 16 GB ) harddrive. .Do NOT use IDE drive with important data. You risk to lose it.We were not able to mount reliably small 174 MB IDE on this system.

News 8.5.2006 : We were able to boot minimal kernel coherent.min on 1700 MB IDE drive with prebuilt Coherent partition (< 500 MB) using the following drive settings in BIOS :

  1. 32 bit OFF

  2. block OFF

  3. LBA OFF


  5. Type of the disk USER

Motherboard tested

    • ECS K7S5A , Duron 1300 MHZ,  Matrox G450 AGP, default configuration, with everything enabled

Remark : Because coherent.min kernel does not support virtual consoles , /etc/ttys must contain the following entry


all other entries must have flag 0 set like


Do it before booting this kernel(using older system for example). New system is very stable.


Installing Coherent on 1700 MB IDE

It reports about my progress I have made some months ago with booting from large( > 512 MB)
IDE HDD.I have taken old drive 1700 MB with one NetBSD and one Linux partition.I have
deleted the first ~450 MB NetBSD partition under Linux and created empty AIX bootable (type 9)
partition instead. Then in BIOS of FIC VA-503 I have set the type of addressing to NORMAL ( and not LBA ) . Then I inserted standard installation floppy and started the installation process.
During install You have to say YES if installer asks about master boot . Then fdisk is started and
it wants to change CHS(cylinders,heads,sectors). DO NOT allow to do it. Simply answer NO(n). fdisk will repeatedly ask about some discrepances it discovered, answer NO(n) for any write request,
it seems to loop but finally You get standard fdisk menu and enter 0 option , do nothing. The rest of the proccess is the same as we know it from older systems.It is reconstructed from my memory after few months, so it is quite possible I have forgotten some details.


Installing on 8GB IDE

Coherent 4.2.10 installed on brand new WD 80EB-28CGH2 8 GB IDE harddrive (manufactured in 2004 in Malaysia).
Disk defined in BIOS with NORMAL(not LBA), interrupt 14/15 set to LEGACY ISA.
The partitions were created before installation with the help of cfdisk using rescue floopy :
255 MB(boot), 1999MB,1999MB,3745 MB.This drive is much faster than old 1700 MB drive.
System boots fast without any problems. tboot from rescue floppy is used.
File system on 3750 MB partition was created after installation , and the 128 MB new kernel was used.File systems on 1999MB partitions were created during installation.
300 MHZ system was used.


Support for RAM greater than 16 MB

Modified version of Coherent 4.2.10ap kernel is available for download . Two test kernels for fixed RAM are available

  • 128 MB RAM, IDE, PCI Realtek 8139 Ethernet driver download

  • 64 MB RAM, SCSI (Adaptec ISA) , ISA Ne2000 Eternet driverdownload

Notice , that both kernels use lower kernel memory pool than  standard kernel, it means
some programs could exhibit problems, for example if You use ftp in net , or if You compile/link
huge programs( about 9MB). Usually one can ignore warnings and simply wait till the job is done.
If the system crashes when using Realtek driver, unplug the Realtek card from the system and
test once again.Both kernels were compiled with MWC cc.Author of patches : A.Popielewicz.
Hint : one could patch the kernel to make it bootable from floppy.
This kernel includes 4 GB partition patch, does not contain cfdisk patch.
Copyright : This release made available by the copyright owner of Coherent, Open Coherent LLC. The owner disclaims any and all liabilities that may arise out of the use of this software. No warranties are given, and warranties for merchantability and fitness are explicitly disclaimed. This kernel can be used for non-commercial purposes only.



Coherent 4.2.10 installs on CompactFlash , 256 MB Kingston. The IDE-CompactFlash adapter from was used.Tested on 486 and K6 system, tboot from rescue floppy was used after installation, partitions were created with cfdisk before installation.
Such system is much faster than standard IDE harddrive.And You can get CompactFlash card brand new .


XFree 4.4 for Coherent 4.2.10

We have the pleasure to inform, that newest version of XFree 4.4
was ported by us to Coherent 4.2.10. This port was developed on enhanced version of
Coherent 4.2.10ap, supporting 64 MB of RAM, and developed by us.
The system we used was FIC VA-503 with 300 MHZ K6.
screenshot X-Window session
Tested cards (generic drivers were used, NOT Vesa)

  • S3 Virge DX 1 MB PCI, depth 8 , depth 16/24 works too but colormap problems(True Color visual not tested yet).

  • NVidia GeForce 2 MX 400, 64MB AGP (6.8.2004), depth 8/16/24 ( Nvidia server requires special Coherent 4.2.10 kernel supporting 128 MB RAM, which was also developed by us).XServer tested with visuals : DirectColor(depth 8/16/24), TrueColor(depth 24).TrueColor visual has better quality and no colormap flashing occurs. 2D acceleration only.

  • Matrox G200 AGP ,16 MB, with 3D acceleration, works but cursor buggy, not usable(?)(seems do not to work anymore 8.5.2006).

  • GeForce4 MX4000 AGP 64 MB(brand new ASUS V9400), depth 24(and 32 bit pixmap), 1280x1024 ,19 inch LCD (8.5.2006)(in fact it worked only once, one should not use this agp 4/8x card on agp 1x motherboard)

  • VGA server tested with : GeForce2 AGP, S3Virge PCI, Matrox G200 AGP, only 320x200(depth 8) supported, best results with Matrox (8.5.2006). WOW : finally VGA server works in depth 4 mode ( 640x400, 16 colors),it means Xfree 4.4 is usable on any card (22.12.2007).

Networking in our port of X-Windows :no networking, Unix domain BSD sockets are used, once ported by Udo Munk

Ported window managers:

  • twm

  • fvwm95screenshot

  • ctwm, Motif look and feel

  • uwm, based on original for Ultrix from 1987

  • mwm (Motif 1.2/2.1)

Applications ported

  • xterm

  • xclock

  • xlogo

  • xcalc

  • xvinfo

  • xvidtune

  • xditview

  • xfm

  • xedit

  • xpaint(gif,jpeg,png)

  • xscreensaver 3(greynetic, xmatrix, imsmap,xrayswarm,petri,bubbles,rocks,helix,interference,atlantis etc)Infinity

  • xv

  • xeyes

  • xset

  • xkill

  • xprop

  • xwininfo

  • xfontsel

  • xlsfonts

  • xstdcmap

  • xliscreenshot

  • xrefresh

  • xdvi

  • xanim 2.7/2.8(avi,jpg,mov,mpg etc), xanim 2.8 plays Xaos mpg animations

  • xgc

  • xwd

  • xmodmap

  • Mosaic 2.7b5(last)NCSA Mosaic

  • ImageMagick 5.1.1/6.x    ImageMagick project

  • etc....

Extra libraries

  • libpng 1.2.6

  • jpeg 6b

  • libogg 1.0ogg project

  • libvorbis 1.1

  • libNextaw for NextStep look , it works

  • etc ....



  • XCdplayer 2.2 , old recompiled version , CD audio player for SCSI cdroms(amplifier or headphones connected to CD drive)

  • XTuner 2.x , tested with stereo AimsLab Radio ( ISA interface)

  • more news


  • GNU Ghostscript 7.05 more

  • AFPL Ghostscript 8.14screenshot

  • hpijs 1.6.x HP Inkjet Server

  • groff 1.10more


  • gnuchess 5.07screenshot

  • tetris, xtetris

  • Xconq 7.2.x, allows not only to play a strategic game but also to design a new game

  • etc ...


Large IDE HDD patch

  • Special patch enabling defining 4 GB partitions, it means one can use 16 GB IDE drives, tested on 10 GB IDE HDD

  • screenshotdf

  • screenshot fsck



  • Realtek 8139 (PCI) driver with in kernel ICMP,ARP,DHCP,IP,UDP,TCP support

  • ping command

  • dhclient command (only name in common with linux friend)

  • mutt 1.4 as a mail browser (with full color support,looks great), sends and replies of emails, linkMUTT

  • lynx 2.8.x offline,mutt uses it for displaying emails with html content. Impressive.lynx

  • gnuPG 1.1 (for signing and encrypting, no IDEA), used by muttgnuPG

  • csendmail and cfetchmail ( SMTP,POP3) in cooperation with mutt, it means mutt uses external programs csendmail to send an email; nothing in common with known fetchmail/sendmail programs , spam killer can be added to cfetchmail(planned)

  • fetchnews and postnews (NNTP)

  • trn 4.x as a news browser(slrn planned)TRN

  • gethttp (HTTP), downloads the content of given www page from www server, it is clear that one needs www browser ( xmosaic 1.2 and mosaic 2.75b are ported  but still without network support, just for offline docs browsing)

  • none of the above programs has something to do with inetutils etc


Programming tools for Coherent 4.2.10

  • gas assembler 2.9, we use it together with gcc 2.8.1

  • gcc C/C++ compiler 2.8.1 rock stable , compiled our XFree 4.4 port .Ported in 2003/4(?).

  • gcc C compiler 2.95.3 , gossip says it was so good no Linux kernel could be compiled with it because compiler detected bugs in Linux kernel. In the meantime it became the recommended tool for compiling Linux kernels. gcc 2.9x is(was) part of Solaris 9 distribution. Full C/C++ package is planned.  Ported on 3.6.2005GCC

  • gas assembler 2.14, rock stable , we use it with 2.8.1 or 2.95.3.For example our gcc 2.95.3 was built with this version. Notice that standard for RedHat 9 is gas 2.13. Ported on 1.6.2005 Binutils

  • perl 5.8.6, standard for RedHat 9


  • python 1.5.2

  • tk3.4/tcl7.1 -the same as once distributed by MWC, but recompiled

  • tk8.0.5/tcl8.0.5,xf4.3

  • tex 3.14x (tetex2.x)more screenshot, extremely powerful mathematical typesetting tool tex

  • ncurses 5.x

  • openlwm(Sun) , only few old applications work with this wm, like xterm,xev,xgc etc(we mean XFree4.4 environment only)


New Realtek8139 driver project started.more


  • interrupt driven

  • dhcp(UDP) in kernel support

  • ping(ICMP) in kernel support

  • tcp protocol in kernel support

  • tcp sockets

Tested :

  • our dhclient

  • our ping

  • our sockets library

  • our sendmail(SMTP)

  • our fetchmail(POP3)

  • lynx 2.8.1/2.8.3(10.9.2005) online (http,news,gopher)

  • Mosaic 2.7b5 online (http,news,gopher(wow, I found Coherent gopher archivefloodgap))

  • 7.9.2005 our dns tcp support added (based on dns support in cohulip)


Started in March/April 2007

System oriented projects

    • 64 bit filesystem , with goal to support big > 4 GB Coherent partitionsmore

    • port of mtools, access to FAT16/FAT32 filesystem from Coherent userland

    • port of mkdosfs, creates FAT16, FAT32 filesystem on a primary partition

    • at (IDE) driver with LBA support more